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Автором A. Mary Violet Christy

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Автором A. Mary Violet Christy

4.5/5 (3 оценки)
106 pages
2 hours
Sep 9, 2014


Vermiculture refers to the artificial rearing or cultivation of earthworms for the production of vermicompost to benefit humans. The utility and variability of research work in this field could be of great use to the agricultural community. The book provides the basic concepts of vermitechnology in a manner suited to a broad spectrum of graduates and researchers.
Sep 9, 2014

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Vermitechnology - A. Mary Violet Christy



A. Mary Violet Christy

ISBN: 9788180942525

All rights reserved

Copyright: MJP Publishers, 2014

Publisher: C Janarthanan

MJP Publishers

5 Muthukalathy street


Chennai 600005



Branches: New Delhi, Tirunelveli

This book is published in good faith that the work of the author is original. All efforts have been taken to make the material error-free. However, the author and publisher disclaim the responsibility for any in advertent errors


Vermitechnology involves the artificial rearing of earthworms and using them for the production of vermicompost, which is anutrient-rich material that can be used as a fertilizer. In the process, earthworms degrade organic waste material into a useful product. This book contains the basic concepts of vermicomposting written in a simple and lucid manner and isorganized in six chapters. The first chapter deals with fundamentals of earthworms. The second chapter discusses the culture of earthworms, i.e.,vermiculture. The third chapter describes in detail the different methods of production of vermicompost. Chapter four discusses the role of vermicompost in plant growth and the application ofvermicompost to plants. The fifth chapter deals with the details of converting vermicompost into a marketable product. The sixthchapter discusses how vermicompost can be used for organicwaste reduction. I am grateful to Dr. M. Karunanithi, Chairman, VivekanandhaEducational Institutions, and Dr. Devatha, Principal, andDr. Vivekanandhan, Bioscience Director, Vivekanandha Collegeof Arts and Science for Women, Tiruchengode, for stimulatingand encouraging me to write this book.I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Peter,Librarian, Thanthai Hans Roever College, Perambalur, for makinguseful suggestions, which helped me in composing this book.

I feel a deep sense of gratitude to my husband Mr. K. Sekarfor his suggestions and encouragement and to my daughterS. Harini for her love and the much-needed happiness whichshe has brought into my life.I owe my gratitude to my beloved parents R. Arpudasamyand A. Susaimary, my father-in-law, A. Krishnan, mother-in-law, K. Pitchaiammal, my brothers, A. Anand Arockia Raj,A. Vinci and A. Rex Irudaya Raj, and A. Josphine Mangala Mary,for their kind cooperation, which helped me complete this book.I am also thankful to MJP Publishers especially Mr. J.C. Pillai,Publisher, Mr. C. Sajeesh Kumar, Managing Editor and P.ParvathRadha, Project Coordinator, for taking keen interest in bringingout this book in its present form.

A. Mary Violet Christy




The earthworms are a group of invertebrates belonging to the Phylum Annelida and Class Oligochaeta and represented by more than 1000 species. Earthworm is nocturnal and the movement is effected by the alternate contraction and relaxation of circular and longitudinal muscles. The soil particles swallowed with the food probably help in the grinding operation called mechanical digestion, since it facilitates the subsequent action of the digestive enzymes. Earthworm is a free organism and it is present in moist and dark places in mud. It respires aerobically and lacks specialized respiratory organs. It has a moist skin that serves this purpose. Earthworms are of great economic value to mankind because they improve the soil quality by their action.

Annelids are segmented worms, with each segment bearing the same fundamental structures as all the others, though minor differences can occur between some segments. By distributing organs among many segments, it becomes less dangerous to an annelid if one organ is damaged. Annelids usually add new segments as they grow older by simply making new copies of the body’s last segment, a sort of efficient assembly-line construction. In annelids, blood circulates in a closed system of blood vessels; it does not at some point simply drain into open sinuses, as with the molluscs. This assures that the annelid’s blood does not pool in some place in its body and for a time become useless, and that only oxygen-depleted blood is circulated back to have its oxygen replenished. Annelids are covered with a very thin, cellophanelike cuticle, which cuts down on moisture loss from the body. Annelids do not dry out as fast as molluscs.

Figure 1—Earthworms


The most common earthworms in North America, Europe, and Western Asia belong to the family Lumbricidae, which has about 220 species (Figure 1.1). Earthworms ingest organic material and facilitate the redistribution of crop residues and organic matter throughout the soil profile (Timothy et al., 1999). Earthworms range from a few millimetres to over 3 feet long, but most common species are a few inches in length. Only a few types are of interest to the commercial earthworm grower, and of these only two are raised on a large-scale commercial basis. In the Indian subcontinent earthworms are represented by 509 species in 67 genera under 10 families (Julka, 1993). There are more than 4400 distinct species of earthworms, each with unique physical and behavioural characteristics that distinguish them from one another. Based on the morphological nature and ecological strategies, earthworms have been classified into three groups by Bouche (1977). They are anecic, endogeic, and epigeic, descriptive of the area of the natural soil environment in which they are found and defined to some degree by environmental requirements and behaviours.

Anecic Species

Anecic worms feed on decaying organic matter and are responsible for cycling huge volumes of organic surface debris into humus. Represented by the common nightcrawler (Lumbricus terrestris ), they build permanent vertical burrows that extend through the upper mineral soil layer, which can be as deep as 4–6 feet. These species coat their burrows with mucus that hardens to prevent collapse of the burrow, providing them a home to which they will always return and which they are able to reliably identify, even when surrounded by other worm burrows.

Endogeic Species

These species build extensive, largely horizontal burrow systems through all layers of the upper mineral soil. These worms rarely come to the surface, spending their lives deep in the soil where they feed on decayed organic matter and mineral soil particles. These worm species help to incorporate mineral matter into the topsoil layer as well as aerate and mix the soil through their movement and feeding habits, e.g. Pontoscolex corethrurus.

Epigeic Species

Represented by the common redworm (Eisenia fetida), these are found in the natural environment in the upper topsoil layer where they feed on decaying organic matter. Epigeic worms build no permanent burrows, preferring the loose topsoil layer rich in organic matter to the deeper mineral soil environment. Epigeic worms are the only types that are used in vermicomposting and vermiculture systems.


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  • (5/5)
    A must read for those starting their vermicompost! Tonnes of facts and citations.